The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
EPSRC CASE PhD Studentship with GlaxoSmithKline
Statistical methods for the analysis of brain imaging in dementia.
An exciting opportunity to develop statistical techniques for the
analysis of imaging studies, with the potential to generate important
advances in the diagnosis and management of dementia, under the auspices
of leading institutions in statistics and medical imaging.
Project description: The project will draw together three strands of
research in order to refine existing statistical procedures and develop
new ones for the analysis of 3-D longitudinal data, typically acquired
over follow-up periods of several years, in brain Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI) studies. Firstly there exist statistical techniques for
the analysis of the approximately million signal intensities (arising a
100x100x100 3D grid of voxels) that make up each scan. However the
development and application of this methodology has been primarily in
studies where repeated short-term stimuli are applied to subjects with
multiple short-term images acquired and it is not known to what extent
such techniques can be used when interest focuses on long-term
structural changes. Secondly automated techniques have been developed
for positional matching of serial images on the same subject in order to
reduce the impact of measurement error. It is anticipated that methods
of analysis will need to take account of the special characteristics of
such 'difference images'. Thirdly, over the past decade there has been
substantial growth in statistical methodology that is relevant to
longitudinal studies of brain imaging. Models that can accommodate the
potentially complex pattern of variability within- and between-images
can be formatted and fitted within the framework of models for
hierarchical and dependent data using well established computer
intensive methods. Such methods have achieved great success in other
areas of the life sciences including biological modelling and
environmental epidemiology. This project will explore their application
to MRI imaging studies.
Research collaborators: The project is a collaboration between three
institutions, the Medical Statistics Unit (MSU) at the London School of
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Dementia Research Centre (DRC) at the
Institute of Neurology UCL and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). MSU has major
research interests in the analysis of longitudinal data. DRC is one of
the leading imaging centres in the UK and has a carefully archived
database of MRI scans. Dr Nick Fox, who will provide a clinical lead,
is an expert in this field and is responsible for the development of the
image registration techniques that will be used in the project. GSK has
a portfolio of on-going studies involving medical imaging and a
commitment to developing new techniques in this area.
Eligibility: This three year award covers full tuition fees and
maintenance for UK residents, and tuition fees only for other EU
Applications deadline: Friday 7th January 2005.
To apply, send a current CV with the names of two referees, and a
covering letter to Sarah Thorne, Medical Statistics Unit, London School
of Hygiene of Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT.
Informal enquiries may be made to the London School of Hygiene
supervisors Professor Mike Kenward ([log in to unmask]) or Chris
Frost ([log in to unmask]).
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is an exempt charity
dedicated to providing excellence in teaching, learning and research for
the benefit of health worldwide.
Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Medical Statistics Unit
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
+44(0)20 7927 2242